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How do I ensure never to have hum?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ToddC, Apr 22, 2009.


  1. I have an Ibanez 506 that does not hum in my home studio but may or may not in other studios.

    <b>I don't ever want it to happen again.</b>

    What can I do to always be prepared with the right tools and things and gadgets to get rid of hum?
    No matter where I play or what equipment I have to connect to.
    Especially in the studio.
     
  2. ironrat

    ironrat

    Sep 24, 2008
    curious, I hadthe same thing with my new SX J pup.

    On my home it hums like crazy, on church its silent. My guess, all the electrical gadgets I have at home. Church roof is tall, maybe that helps.


    shield the pup cavity with aluminum tape
     
  3. Hum can be caused by many things. Most often it is caused by grounding issues that are different from place to place.

    EBTECH makes this little device. http://www.ebtechaudio.com/humxdes.html
    I have not used it, but if anyone has I would like to know if it works well.
     
  4. go active
     
  5. The SR506 is active.
     
  6. rodneyat

    rodneyat Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Try using a 3 prong to 2 prong converter on your amp. That will sometimes help
     
  7. lets say I'm going direct in and there is hum or buzz.
    If I touch my treble knob the hum goes away.

    What can I do to solve this?
     
  8. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    How do I ensure never to have hum?

    Play an acoustic bass.
     
  9. Tried the ground lift switch on your amp/DI? - If It has one.
     
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Play acoustic. Sorry, but no way to ensure that you'll NEVER have stray electrical noise getting into your system. Lots of things to do that will help alleviate any tendency, but no way to satisfy your "never happen again" bit.

    jte
     
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    How to ensure you never have hum?

    1 - Play upright bass
    2 - If you have an electric, never plug it in
     
  12. rms2

    rms2

    May 27, 2008
    VA
    I have a passive bass with Bartolinis wired through a volume knob and a blend knob. It is 100% silent - can play it 18 inches away from my monitor recording into Sonar and there is absolutely zero hum. It also has the best tone. Can't say the same about any of my basses with active / pre configurations.
     
  13. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Well.... I would say that there's no 100% trick, but we can get you close.
    1) Shield the cavity of your bass. Do a search on this forum and several threads with info from VERY smart guys will pop up.
    2) Make sure the grounding of your bass is good as well. If you don't feel you posses the skills to take care of that, take it to a tech.
    3) The "three to two prong thing" that was refered to earlier is called a ground lift. They are usually grey and cost about $1. You can find them at any hardware store. Just ask "the guy" for a 3 to 2 prong adaptor.
    4) A LOT of amps and boards and processors and preamps have ground lift switches and buttons on them. If you get a hum that's the first thing to try.
    5) There are a bunch of gadgets out there (power conditioners and what not) that claim they can stop it cold. The only one I've seen work pretty well was a really expensive Monster one.
    6) Make sure there are as few fluorescent or neon lights on as possible. Neon lights especially cause hum worse than anything I've ever come across. That kinda sucks because a lot of clubs have them all over the place and they hate it when you cut them off. (You shouldn't have that problem in church).
    7) I have actually heard of sound companies keeping a 200 foot wire and a ground rod with them at all times. That way if nothing else works they can run the wire outside and ground the system themselves.

    All of this sounds like a lot but the cavity shield takes care of most normal grounding problems. Good luck!
     
  14. I'm looking for a list of those ways.
    OK maybe never is a bit extreme.
     
  15. i vote it was the wiring in the house.

    bypassing ground is a good way to get your ass zapped into next week. i had an electrical engineer tell me that there was nothing good about skipping ground. those little humX things are not certified or anything. there is prolly a warning label on their somewhere.

    just a cheap product that people will buy, hate, and toss out. the company cashes in 20 dollars at a time.
     
  16. :confused:Active preamps have a higher noise floor than passive...
    As far as 60Hz hum from single coils, active or passive doesnt mean squat.
     
  17. TheMutt

    TheMutt Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    Upgrade to humbucking pickups, shield and ground your bass, rewire the electrical circuitry of your house to resolve grounding issues, and live in a lead sphere to eradicate EMI/RFI. :bag:

    Honestly, you can't 100% eliminate hum, but you can reduce it. You could also try the multiple hum-canceling/blocking pedals out there:
    EHX Hum Debugger
    ISP Noise Decimator
    MXR Smart Gate
    etc.
     
  18. Jamie Bishop

    Jamie Bishop Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing Artist: Laney Amplication
    This is the exact problem I"m having with my Pedulla right now. I'm thinking it's a ground issue in my bass. When I am touching the metal knobs there is no buzz, so I've deduced that maybe the ground wire that runs to the bridge broke. I'm about to open mine up now, I'll tell you if I have any success.
     
  19. Now we're getting somewhere.
    Thank You.
    I look forward to hearing about your experience with this.
    I'll do the same this evening.
     

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